Book review:It’s up to you

On the spiritual path we speak of enlightenment. But how do we reconcile the idea of enlightenment with what we see when we look in the mirror—when insecurities, doubts, and self-centered tendencies arise in our minds?

On the spiritual path we speak of enlightenment. But how do we reconcile the idea of enlightenment with what we see when we look in the mirror—when insecurities, doubts, and self-centered tendencies arise in our minds?

Dzigar Kongtrl suggests that we need not feel “doomed” when these experiences surface. In fact, such experiences are not a problem if we are able to simply let them arise without judging them or investing them with so much meaning. This approach to experience is what Kongtrl calls self-reflection. Self-reflection is a practice, a path, and an attitude.

It is the spirit of taking an interest in that which we usually try to push away. Self-reflection is the common thread that runs through all traditions of Buddhist practice. It breathes life into our practice, protecting it from becoming just another enterprise. When we practice self-reflection we take liberation into our own hands and accept the challenge and personal empowerment in Kongtrl’s title: it’s up to you.

Trained by the celebrated Tibetan meditation master Dilgo Khyentse (author of The Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones and The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel ), Dzigar Kongtrl is steeped in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

 

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